Parents See Adult Children Take Wing in L’Arche

BY BETHANY KEENER • PHOTOS PROVIDED BY L’ARCHE With 18 communities consisting of one or more homes in the United States, L’Arche provides support for daily living and a community of belonging where people with and without intellectual disabilities share their lives together. When Donna and Manny Ganzarain were told their fouryear-old son Mark was autistic, Donna was confused. It was 1976, and she had never heard the word. She thought the doctors were telling […]


INDEPENDENT EDUCATIONAL EVALUATIONS BY STEVE C. IMBER, PH. D. The issue raised by OSERS Letter to Baus addresses a very important issue, namely whether the parent can include skills not addressed by the SDs evaluation within an Independent Educational Evaluation. On February 23, 2015 The Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) of the Department of Education (DOE) issued the policy Letter to Baus. Ms. Baus asked whether a parent had a right to […]


BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. This terminology was created by Michelle Garcia Winner, MA, CCC-SLP, a world-renowned expert in the treatment of individuals with social-cognitive deficits. Many parents of children with special needs are familiar with social skills, which help their child better interact with others. Social Thinking goes beyond what is usually covered in schools, to more concrete and explicit ways of thinking. Social Thinking uses the thoughts behind the social skills. This terminology was […]

Social Village®

BY LAUREN AGORATUS, M.A. While Social Village is not intended as a replacement for therapy, it is giving children with learning disabilities, ADHD, autism and other challenges that impact a child’s social IQ a chance to feel welcomed and to feel happy. Social Village is a novel concept in facilitating social interaction that is helping children develop friendships while having fun at Princeton Speech-Language & Learning Center in Princeton, N.J. What is Social Village? Social […]

Planning For A Great School Year: How It’s Done

BY DEANNA PICON With a few easy steps and a positive attitude, you can unload some of those burdens and you and your child can both transition successfully into the new school year. Every fall, children begin the school year with a backpack full of new notebooks, pencils and other school supplies. This is a time of excitement and anxiety for student and parent alike––but what is in your backpack as a parent? Where are […]


BY JUDITH CANTY GRAVES AND CARSON GRAVES When parents pay attention to the essential parts of their child’s IEP and take an active role in making sure that it properly addresses their child’s needs, it can be a powerful tool for insuring that their child gets the appropriate education that the law expects the school to provide. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is the cornerstone of special education. This document is a legal contract between […]

Pondering I.Q. Testing For Kids With ASDs

BY MARY BURNER It is time to re-evaluate the testing procedure so that it is fair to students with autism. Standardized tests are designed for neuro-typical students. I am the Credit Course Coordinator at New York Institute of Technology’s (NYIT) Vocational Independence Program. This position allows me the opportunity to assess students as they enter our program. My job entails the establishment and coordination of academic accommodations, as well as coordinating with academic departments and […]

Planning Ahead for School Health and Success

GENETIC ALLIANCE BY MONICA KORTSHA AND SHARON ROMELCZYK, MPA Discussing an individualized healthcare plan (IHP) with your child’s school nurse is one way you can prepare for the coming school year and make sure their special needs are addressed accordingly. With the end of the school year and summer approaching fast, it’s hard to think about anything else besides recitals, report cards, and vacations. But we all know the feeling of anticipation that comes with […]

The Importance Of Early Sibling Support Group Involvement

BY CHRISTY HAWKINS Growing up with a brother that was prone to out of the blue temper tantrums limited family vacations. The evening hours after he returned from school after another day of angst with his peers and all that stimuli would always pose some challenges. Not to mention my brother’s difficulty with the classroom expectations and the frustration of his teachers. He was so smart, so capable. So why could he not produce the […]

Vaccines DO NOT Cause Autism

– The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is caused by differences in how the brain functions. People with ASD may communicate, interact, behave, and learn in different ways. Recent estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network found that about 1 in 68 children have been identified with ASD in communities across the United States. CDC is committed to providing essential data on […]